Outcomes of Patients Dismissed From the Hospital With Noncardiac Chest Pain

ROCHESTER, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The growing number of Americans with cardiovascular disease has caused a heightened sensitivity in the evaluation of chest pain. In a study published in the April issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings researchers reported that patients dismissed from the hospital with noncardiac chest pain continue to experience cardiac events, which may highlight a need for more aggressive cardiovascular risk factor management in this population.

Noncardiac chest pain is defined as a substernal chest pain in the absence of significant epicardial coronary artery stenoses. Noncardiac chest pain is attributed to a variety of disorders, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and esophageal hypersensitivity, panic attack, musculoskeletal pain and microvascular disease (cardiac syndrome).

Researchers identified 320 patients with a diagnosis of noncardiac chest pain to determine the frequency of gastrointestinal (GI) consultations and testing, and to identify the frequency of cardiac death. All patients had a hospital admission diagnosis of unstable angina, subsequent inpatient cardiac evaluation and a dismissal diagnosis of noncardiac chest pain.

The first aim of this study was to determine the frequency of GI consultation and testing. After the initial diagnosis of noncardiac chest pain, 49 percent of patients were re-evaluated in the Emergency Department and 42 percent underwent repeated cardiology evaluations; only 15 percent had GI consultations. In regards to GI testing, 38 percent underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy, 4 percent underwent manometry (13 tests), and 2 percent had pH probes (six probes).

“Patients in this study received few GI consultations and underwent even fewer GI tests. Further study is needed to determine whether patients with noncardiac chest pain would benefit from more frequent GI consultations and more diverse use of GI testing modalities,” says Michael Leise, M.D., co-investigator in the Department of Gastroenterology, Mayo Clinic.

The study’s second aim was to report on overall mortality, specifically, cardiac death in patients with noncardiac chest pain. Although prognosis for patients with noncardiac chest pain is thought to be favorable, researchers found that previous data to support this view were limited. The total sample in this study did not display a significantly increased frequency of death compared with what would be expected in this community, but a substantial number of cardiac deaths occurred in an noncardiac chest pain population. “We speculate that cardiac death in patients with noncardiac chest pain may relate to overlapping risk factors for GERD and coronary artery disease, including obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes mellitus and smoking,” says Dr. Leise. Until cardiac death in this population is better understood, it is important to screen for cardiac risk factors such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes mellitus and aggressively manage these comorbid conditions.

A peer-reviewed journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings publishes original articles and reviews dealing with clinical and laboratory medicine, clinical research, basic science research and clinical epidemiology. Mayo Clinic Proceedings is published monthly by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research as part of its commitment to the medical education of physicians. The journal has been published for more than 80 years and has a circulation of 130,000 nationally and internationally. Articles are available online at www.mayoclinicproceedings.com.

About Mayo Clinic

For more than 100 years, millions of people from all walks of life have found answers at Mayo Clinic. These patients tell us they leave Mayo Clinic with peace of mind knowing they received care from the world’s leading experts. Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. At Mayo Clinic, a team of specialists is assembled to take the time to listen, understand and care for patients’ health issues and concerns. These teams draw from more than 3,700 physicians and scientists and 50,100 allied staff that work at Mayo Clinic’s campuses in Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona; and community-based providers in more than 70 locations in southern Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. These locations treat more than half a million people each year. To best serve patients, Mayo Clinic works with many insurance companies, does not require a physician referral in most cases and is an in-network provider for millions of people. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to www.mayoclinic.org/news. For information about research and education, visit www.mayo.edu. MayoClinic.com (www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your general health information.



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KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Minnesota

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Cardiology  Hospitals

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